e-tron is Audi’s first fully electric production SUV. It has a range of up to 400 kilometres and can fast charge at 150kW. The SUV can also convert kinetic energy into electric energy. Its name bearing similarities to a particular 80’s sci-fi film is pure coincidence.
No driver buys an electric vehicle for its engine power. Still, e-tron has an impressive output of up to 300kW and 664Nm of torque. It provides more than enough pulling power. e-tron can accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in 5.7 seconds with an electronically governed top speed of 200km/h.
The electric all-wheel drive provides excellent traction and handling on any terrain and in any weather conditions. Torque can be redistributed to the front axle as required. This also happens predictively even before slip occurs in icy conditions, fast cornering, or if the car understeers or oversteers.
e-tron bears an octagonal single-frame grille with vertical struts, primarily enclosed and presented in platinum grey. At the lower edge of the Matrix LED headlights, four horizontal struts create another e-tron signature in the daytime running lights. At the rear, slats in the wide diffuser call attention to the absence of exhaust pipes. The e-tron logo is found on the charging flap.
The driver’s area has two large MMI touch screens angled in the driver’s direction, replacing nearly every conventional switch and control. Many functions can also be controlled via natural voice, and with the standard Audi virtual cockpit, the driver can choose between two views presenting all information in sharp, high-resolution graphics.
Drivers can vary the characteristics between seven profiles depending on the situation, road conditions or personal preferences. This system also influences the standard air suspension with adaptive dampers, and as a result, there is a vast difference between smooth rolling comfort and sporty, stable handling. The pneumatic springs adjust individually to the road conditions depending on the speed and the driver’s preferences, varying the ride height by as much as 76 millimetres.
e-tron’s assist systems use radar sensors, camera images and navigation data to detect the traffic environment and the route. Efficiency assist can also brake and accelerate the Audi e-tron predictively. Backing the assist systems is the central driver assistance controller, which continuously computes an exact model of the environment.
The full electric Audi e-tron SUV is expected to arrive in Australia in mid-2019. European owners can secure one before the end of 2018. Pricing and specification will be announced closer to launch.